Students drown in debt and Academe suffers

College enrollment overall is on the rise, but recession-weary and debt-wary students are being choosier when it comes to selecting academic institutions. But so too, are colleges becoming more selective about admitting students, increasingly putting an emphasis on those they believe can pay their bills and complete a degree. When money -- tuition -- dictates the student body, what happens to the quality of education?

Enrollment is up at public universities and many community colleges these days are considered a smart, affordable option. A Pew Research report tracks a surge in community college attendance coinciding with the recession, and it's a trend continuing this year as public universities benefit at the expense of pricier private institutions. There are exceptions of course, as it seems the coveted Ivy League and comparable institutions continue to attract students -- even in record numbers -- regardless of cost.